The Old Au Sable Fly Shop Fishing Report
The great migration has begun. Many thousands of cars, trucks, and SUV’s hit the blacktop trail after the holiday weekend and flowed southward from their Summer grounds. Folks pulled their docks and cabin shades, benched their boats, and stowed the patio furniture. Vacation time spent, younger couples have rightly shifted their focus from trips up North to school schedules, soccer games, and Friday night lights. And chants of “Go State” and “Go Michigan” as well as hopes of Tigers glory and Lions mediocrity will keep folks glued to the boob tube on many of the coming weekends.
That means the woods and waters of Northern Michigan will likely be lonely in the coming months. As much as I love the hectic pace of the peak trout fishing in the prime months—so called, the reason to be in the wild is to sink quietly into it. Now is the time for that.
The salmon migration has also started and, though most of the fish are still staging at depth in the lakes, some salmon have started to push into rivers like the Betsie, Pere Marquette, and Manistee. The run will be thinner than it was at its peak in 2012, but by all accounts the fish being caught are big.
The brook trout have also started podding up and migrating to spawning grounds. Of course, you’ll find them in the larger rivers, but the heat of August pushes them to the smaller creeks and tributary streams as well. Those small streams will be open to angling until the end of September and are flat full of fish right now. It always amazes me that we target all sorts of wildlife on the cusp of their peak mating season, but we forget about brook trout in September. Some of the finest brook trout I’ve ever taken fell foolish in the September push.
And what can I say about grouse hunting? I’m thankful that I don’t have to make an exclusive choice between chasing those swamp chickens and plying the waters in the hopes of a bent rod. No good would come of it.
Cast and blast time starts next week. Grouse season goes off on the 15th and woodcock season follows on the 24th. I’m not sure we’re you’ll all be, but I know we’re I’ll be.
Hope to see you all soon,